He’s not hemmed in by tradition. He’ll try a new approach and, if it tastes better, he’ll incorporate it into what he does. Estabrooke also strives to keep things local and organic. He sources whole wheat grains from a farm in Newfield, New York, and tries to restrict his other ingredients to places in New York state. The distillery doesn’t outsource any part of the production. Estabrooke prefers to make everything from the very beginning. “I ask myself, what would I like to drink, and can I make it from scratch?” he said. Estabrooke mills, ferments, and distills all on site. Finally transferring the spirits to 25and 53-gallon barrels, and trucking them to a warehouse in another part of Brooklyn, where the spirits age. The warehouse lacks heat (a dry sprinkler system allows for this), so its interior temperature fluctuates with the seasons. This benefits the whiskey, Estabrooke said, as the changes in temperature drive the interaction with the oak barrels, which he gets from a cooper in Kentucky. The distillery puts out Glorious Gin, 77 Whiskey, and a Project Number One Whiskey. The project, which is bottled in bond, is the first in a series. It’s a straight bourbon and is fermented from a mash of 60 percent corn, 20 percent red wheat, and 20 percent malted barley, gathered from Hadley, Massachusetts. Estabrooke distills it twice, to around 150 proof, and then ages it for four years. He bottles it at 100 proof. It has notes of caramel, vanilla, cherry, and cinnamon. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
The Glorious Gin is distilled to retain the honey and buttery tastes of the grain. The base spirit is then redistilled in batches with juniper, fresh grapefruit peel, fresh lemon peel, ginger and fresh rosemary. Since 2011, Estabrooke has let portions of the Glorious Gin rest in oak barrels. He’s produced several unique batches with different oak treatments and continues to experiment with the process, trying new oak, used oak, and different sized barrels Then there’s the distillery’s 77 Whiskey, made with a column-style still, which produces spirits that are soft and sweet. The distillery produces approximately 4,000 sixpack cases a year in total. Estabrooke estimates that 75 percent of his business is whiskey and 25 percent is gin. Most of his business comes from selling to bars and stores across Brooklyn and Manhattan. He also sells to places in Colorado, California, Florida, and the DC area. He employs one fulltime salesperson and three part-timers for bottling and deliveries. With over a decade of distilling experience Estabrooke and Breuckelen are a powerful example of a successful craft distillery. Something our still-young industry can look to for guidance, inspiration, and a healthy sense of pride.
Breuckelen Distilling Company is located in Brooklyn, NY. For more information visit www.brkdistilling.com or call (347) 725-4985.
A SPIRIT THIS WELL-CRAFTED DESERVES AN ARTISANAL GLASS.
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